View Full Version : iSonic 87, 94 or 101

13th October 2006, 11:12 PM
I am completing my speed quiver and looking for my medium wind board.

I currently have the two Missile S & XS and need a board to serve the sub 22kts and tight courses. I know the 87 is a rocket but if the 94 were quick enough in 15 - 25kts then I could use it as my all round slalom board also.

I weight 84kg and have a selection of Code Reds of all sizes.

The real question is how big a difference is there between the 87 & 94 in terms of both marginal wind performance and medium wind performance.

Finally anyone know up to what wind windspeed the 101 is comfortable and how fast relative to the 87 & 94.


Kevin Pritchard
14th October 2006, 12:35 PM
I like the 101 the best over the 94. I am going to go with the 87 101 and 122 for my quiver. I just did 38 knots open ocean Hookipa on a new TR 3 Maui Saila 6.6 and a 87. Pretty fast for big ocean swells. Maybe i could have gone faster on the 101.. The 101 is fast in light winds..

Ian Fox
14th October 2006, 06:07 PM
(just adding to the other AskTeam discussion on this) .. Big boards for pure speed are not really my thing, but 101 is definitely a standout in the general purpose slalom sizes this year; apart from serious mid wind speed, 101's also got really outstanding hispeed trim across chop (definitely a level up again from the very decent iS105 as long as you keep the mast foot pressure/drive on) - and a sweet jibe that almost doubles it into freeride material - not bad for such a square, wide tailed plank. It might not be as efficent for low drag tuning as the iS87 in speed trial conditions - but 101 doesn't mind a serious bit of overpower - with suitable results. :)

Cheers ~ Ian

14th October 2006, 09:50 PM
I presently own a isonic 115 (2006), 122 (2007) and a 133 (2006) - Yes, lots of overlap. I absolutely love the 115 and really like the 133 and I am reserving judgment with respect to the 122 since I have not spent much time on it.

I am looking for a higher wind board - my weight is approximately 83 kg. The 101 seems a little close to the 115. I presently use my old 85 liter Sputnick 265 (1994) for my high wind solution. Does the 87 offer much improvement (upwind and top end) over these older, but fast designs?



Ian Fox
15th October 2006, 05:43 PM
Hi Grant,

Yes, lots of overlap :)

If you love the 115, you'll be ecstatic over a good 101 session.
Yo're definitely correct, the 101 is close to the 115, about as close as the 115 to the 122...(seriously, the performance size gap is about the same).

The iS87 definitely delivers better control and "power on" handling than older 85 Lt designs, making performance more consistant and less peaky than the older 85Lt rockets (which tend to be a bit cammy, fully on or not so on..and more of a handful at full noise thru hi wind chop) iS87 is definitely OK on upwind for a board this size/style, but noting that obviously the performance envelope is focused towards downwind, broad reaching speed rather than upwind performance.

Cheers ~ Ian

15th October 2006, 06:37 PM
Ian Fox wrote:
- not bad for such a square, wide tailed plank.

Cheers ~ Ian

:D :D :D

This is why I think Ian's advice is second to none (if a little unorthodox at first glance ;) )

15th October 2006, 10:01 PM
Ian, thanks for the response. Might have to get both the 101 and 87. Life is short so I'm going for it!



16th October 2006, 01:21 PM
I would really like Kevin to comment a bit more about iSonic size personal selection. In the past season, it seemed to me he was preferring the 95 over the 85; so I would like to understand his preference shift towards 87 over 94. Maybe the 87 has been a bit beefed up from the 85? And maybe the thinner tail rails on the 94 make it not so suitable any more as a medium wind g. p. board compared to the 101, and too close to the small beast 87?
I am trying to make my mind up for next season (one single board) selection.

16th October 2006, 06:33 PM
I reckon that the best purchase would be both the 87 & 101 and that's what I'm seriously considering.

My question now is whether or not there is any requirement for the Missile S. It seems to me that the 87 will handle very strong winds right down to the point where I would be grabbing the Missile XS.

Put another way. Does anyone see a large overlap between an IS87 and a Missile S.

Kevin Pritchard
17th October 2006, 01:23 AM
The reason I am switching to the 87 is mainly becasue the 101 is so fast and good. I needed the 87 for the windy days and the 101 will be perfect for the medium winds. If I had to go with one single board depending on where you are living i would go with the 101. The 101 is more of an all rounder board where the 94 is getting more into the highwind classic slalom shape. This year when it was doggy conditions in places like Fuerteventura, i was hurting on the 95 to come out of the holes and gybes. I think the 101 will do the trick for that next season.

Hope this helps.

17th October 2006, 07:26 PM

thank you very much for taking the time to answer.
If I get you right, you are confirming my thoughts. If one anyhow needs an 87 for the classic hiwind slalom, a 94 makes little sense as it embodies the same concept only stretching it into medium winds, while new boards are now available that are just perfect in medium winds.
My case is probably different, since I want one board that grants classic style hiwind slalom performance in medium to high winds and I will not bother if I have to suffer in the occasional holes. And mind I want one only board, as otherwise I tend to spend too much time onshore taking decisions. My doubt is more whether to change from S95 to iS94(/87) or not, than from S95 to iS101. Maybe my next sail quiver will even be 6.3 and 7.0, instead of 6.6 and 7.6, since last season in the end I used the 6.6 much more than the 7.6.

18th October 2006, 05:48 AM
Hi Kevin & Ian,

Say I'd want to sail with a 87 iSonic and Severne Code: Red's 5.6 / 6.7 / 7.7 and optionally (if I miss the early planing ;)) a 9.0, what would be the better choise; the 101 or 111? I'm afraid of overlap if I pick the 101, but on the other hand I don't want the 111 to fly when winds are strong enough for 6.7.

My main goal is to use the 111/101 with a 7.7 and 6.7 in ''light'' to medium winds, the 87 with a 6.7 or 5.6 will be used for high wind slalom & speedsurfing. My weight is about 75 kg. and I'm about 190 cm. tall.

I hope I didn't forget anything, thanks in advance!

Ian Fox
18th October 2006, 10:52 AM
Hej Julian,

It's an each way bet, and either way is a winner.

iS87 to iS101 is a healthy but still practical overlap, 101 will allow a very good range in powered 6.7 conditions (in which you could be on either 101 or 87) but obviously less bottom end.

With 111 you still have reasonable (small) overlap, most likely you would change off 111 at "medium" 6.7 conditions onto the 87, but with 111 you pick up more bottom end range. In my opinion, it's not so much that the 111 has a lot more early planing potential, rather it can comfortably carry enough extra sail to make noteable light end difference.

In a pure technical sense, the iS111 sweetspot is going to be centred around 7.7m (and still give the chance to sneak a 9.0 m on there in really light slalom if you can be bothered..), whereas the iS101 sweetspots more a round the 6.7m, it's still fully capable with 7.7m but no way on the 9.0 for regular style sailing.

With 75 Kg, it probably gives a little extra advantage to choosing the iS101 in terms of early planing c/w sail size etc, also if you tend to be a more active or aggresive rider who prefers a slightly "smaller" board (work a bit more to get it / keep it going, but enjoy that extra efficency when you're fully lit).

I think we're probably slanted in favor of the 101 as it really is a standout board - (time will prove that) - plus we got the full back up of the 122 when it's really light slalom. If we had only one board to choose, well....

Cheers ~ Ian

18th October 2006, 03:28 PM
Ian, thanks for your reply :)

But I'm just wondering; wont it be just perfect with the 111 and 87? I mean, when the 111 starts to fly with 6.7, the 87 will be just perfect, won't it? Besides, since the Code: Red's have a v?ry long delivery time (My dealer expects them to arrive at the end of May, when I ordered in January!) I'll be sailing with a 8.5 and 7.0 Tushingham Lightning. You say a 7.7 would already be a big sail for the 101, so that would mean I practically won't be able to use my 8.5 for about half a year!

What are the big differences between the 101 and 111, that makes you and Kevin in favour of the 101? After all, I wont be having a bigger slalom board so I'd completely lose my ability to plane early, when I buy the 101, don't you think?

It just doesn't ''seem'' right to buy the 101, how weird that even may sound. I really enjoyed the lightwind performance of the 125 iSonic, but it was a little bit too big for me and since I'm expecting to sail with a 7.7 as a max. sail, I chose for a smaller one.

But what you're saying, is that the 7.7 will get me started even sooner on the 101? Or am I mistaken?

Maybe I just don't understand what you're trying to tell me (ashamed, ashamed :()?

Ian Fox
18th October 2006, 06:34 PM
Hi Julian,

Sorry if it got more confusing ;) that wasn't the plan..

The 87 and 111 are for sure a better spaced quiver (when you are concerned about light wind slalom also).

Maybe I misunderstood in your first post, when you made the comment about "optionallly missing the early planing" to mean you were interested to consider to sacrifice low end range in favor for mid to top end in this 101 vs 111 decision.
( a lot of GPS-SS guys, for example, would be in that "top end" mode).

So IF you were in that mode (seems that was wrong ?) then I would suggest looking at 101, as it does very well(relative) against 111 in light conditions (moreso with the active style - as described above) - and obviously has it over the 111 in mid to top end conditions. Plus, it's just a super sweet ride. Really fun as well as really fast.

But, in the case that you want to have some half decent light wind and good complimentary range to iS87, then for sure iS111 is better.
The difference with the 101 at the top end (crossover to 87) is that with 101/87, you would have more option to be on either 87 or 101; with 111/87 you will need to be more sure to be on the right board. If you were NOT interested in the light wind range of the 111 (but you are) , then my suggestion was to consider the 101/87.

With 75kg, the 101 will carry an 8.5 OK - but at the top end of the sail/board sweetspot. With 111 you will have a more in reserve for 8.5m conditions, and obviously 111 will be a better choice in these marginal conditions.

7.7 will get you started quite well even on 101, but with 111 you will get started with 7.7m even sooner than 101. No question.
The delay on the new Code:RED's might be a bit frustrating, but it will be worth it - the new ones are pretty special.

Hope this clears it all up, if not, well, let us know :)

Cheers ~ Ian

18th October 2006, 08:21 PM
Ian, you made my day! :D

I hope to get my iSonic 111 next sunday, and then the long wait for the Code's will begin :o but as you said: they're worth the wait ;)

Thanks again!

18th October 2006, 08:48 PM

since we are here, and as a partial modification to my previous position. I see everybody is very happy about the 101 to the point that the older 100/95/94 heritage is almost out of discussion. Does that more traditional design still have any reason in the 2007 lineup?
I wish I had more (or at least: any!) opportunities to test different models. I used the 95 last season and I am very glad with it. I like its crisp ride, the superb way it handles chop, its ability to carry big sails when needed while still maintaining a "hiwind slalom" feel, its ability to carry a fully lit 6,6 (I mean when other people on freestyle/freeride/freewave materials do switch down from 5,8s to 5,2s), its overall performance. Is the 101 really such an hands down winner against that successful, though older, shape? Or, in simpler words: would I (191/85/15-25knots) better have to change?

Ian Fox
19th October 2006, 01:39 PM
Hi .g.e.o.

Considering, for this discussion that your range is spread across 15-25kts, (not 80% 25kts with only a few rare days below solid 20), then the 101 goes along way (more than the 105) into "traditional" 95 territory. Maybe also a lot of riders are getting used to the iS style, more familiar with the ride, and how to get the most from it - which is a slightly different style to the traditional. Most of us have a very positive rating for the "old" 95 - and we know from testing the new 94 actually tops it (95) by a narrow but noticeable margin. So it's no lemon.

If you had only one board to cover the 101-87 range, logically the 94 remains a very good choice as it really carries over some of the traditional "hi wind" ride/feel/handling, and it also is very competive with 6.6-7.6m conditions for your size. However for 2007 range, the 101 really extends so well into "95" territory (in most locations/conditions) that it becomes a pretty compelling choice when considered for your size in the 7.6/6.6m + 15-25kt range.

Obviously, the "advantage" to the 101 is seen more at the lower-mid end of the range, or in gusty or patchy conditions. While it flies off the wind, the iS style (101/105) has an advantage in "upwind" slalom angles as well over narrower slaloms.

Considering your strong feelings towards a more "traditional" slalom (S95 etc), the best suggestion is to try a demo ride on a 101 if at all possible. By all means try a 105, but the ride on the 101 is even more "95" than 105 (101=better hi speed trim across chop/ better jibe) - so be aware if you test 105.

It's only a calculated guess, but I think if you (only) try 105, you might VERY narrowly stay with 95 or 94, but if you try 101, then you would see enough potential that it would become your new choice. Not so much because 101 is a better board than 94, but because 101 fits and performs so well in the wind/sail/quiver range you discuss.

Cheers ~ Ian

mark h
20th October 2006, 05:11 AM
Hi Ian
Just save starting a new thread, could you tell me which, iS101 or iS94 rides/feels more like a 05 Sonic 100. I think the iS94 will feel smaller than my S100 and the iS101 will feel more similair, i think!!. I'm tall and heavy and use NS Warp's, 7.6m, 6.4m and occassionally a 5.8m (but usually would be on my S90 by this time). Also got a S125 for 9m & 7.6m so I'm thinking S90, iS101 & S125 (will switch to iS125 some time) will give me a better working range.

Thanks in advance

P.S. Would be good if all of the iS threads could be grouped together like last years massive/usefull iS thread.

20th October 2006, 02:32 PM

thank you for your accurate answer.

I think it would be really useful for us the customers if Starboard (which of course means YOU in this case about iSonic boards) to provide two more informations: 1) for each board, in which conditions is it at its best; and 2) for each board, in which conditions it is first choice.
Just as an example: "iS xxx 1) is at its best at blasting and slalom racing in 15 to 25 knots and 2) is first choice for racing in gusty real world 15 to 20 knots wind and small to medium chop"; "iS xx 1) is at its best at speed blasting in 20 to 25 knots and 2) is first choice for racing or blasting in consistent 20 to 25 knots wind", or something the like.

Ian Fox
20th October 2006, 06:46 PM
Hi Mark,

It's a good question, and one I was just thinking about the other day (having had a great iS101 session) - for ride, the iS101 has much more of the S100's versatile speed / range/ "do anything" potential; for "feel", well this is an interesting one as the feel of the iS101 is a little different to the S100- but in the same way the feel of the S100 was very good (and very popular) , the iS101 actually has (to my mind) an even better feel - but noting that the classic slalom board feel of the S100 is maybe slightly closer in iS94.

If you loved the S100, have an S125 and S90, are tall and heavy and want something 7.6/6.4 and occasional 5.8, iS101 for sure.

Might have to see if we can put together another iS megathread, then we can include some more board info as .g.e.o. suggested to add more description to the style/ride/handlling of each version.

Cheers ~ Ian

mark h
20th October 2006, 07:03 PM
Thanks Ian, looks like a iS101 is on the xmas list.


21st October 2006, 02:31 PM
I edited my previous post in order to make it more clear.

Corrected "what a board is best at" with "in which conditions a board is at its best", which is conceptually different and more precisely separated from the other information "in which conditions a board is first choice".

Sorry, my English gets faulty when I am in a hurry.

Ian Fox
21st October 2006, 06:14 PM
Hi .g.e.o.

Thanks, understood. We'll get the website update done and out of the way and get onto the additional board information updates.

Cheers ~ Ian